Sunday, August 26, 2007

August 23, 2007: Roasted pumpkin and shallot soup

The extraction of Cindy's wisdom teeth has meant that we've been on a liquid-food diet for the weekend. To make sure that she had food available on Friday evening, we spent Thursday night in the kitchen: she whipping up her Indian mango pudding, and me having a crack at a pumpkin soup recipe from Ken Charney's The Bold Vegetarian Chef.

The recipe had a few quirks compared to regular pumpkin soup - not least the incorporation of a roasted pear. I was uncertain whether the pear was going to have any impact on the overall flavour (it was 1 smallish pear in amongst a kilo of pumpkin after all) and speculated that it may have just been a gimmick to make Ken's recipe sound exotic. It turns out I was wrong, the pear (along with a decent splash of lemon juice) added a level of unexpected sweetness to the pumpkin and shallots, to the point that this savoury option turned out to be a little on the sweet side given Cindy's limited food choices. The recipe also suggested a couple of crispy garnishes (fried sage leaves and roasted pumpkin seeds) that we skipped to avoid any unpleasant chewing issues.

Roasted pumpkin and shallot soup
4 shallots
1 pear, peeled, cored and chopped
1 - 1.5kg pumpkin
2 teaspoons dried sage
olive oil
200g silken tofu
4 cups vegie stock
juice of one lemon

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.

Chop the shallots coarsely and toss with the pear, the dried sage and a teaspoon of olive oil.

Bake the shallot/pear mix and the pumpkin (cut it in half if you didn't buy pre-chopped chunks). The pear and shallots probably take about 25 minutes, while the pumpkin takes a bit longer - say 35. You want it to be nice and soft all the way through.

Once everything is baked, peel off the pumpkin skin and mix together the pumpkin flesh with the pear and shallots, along with the stock, tofu and some salt and pepper. You can add a 1/2 cup of wine or a splash of vinegar here as well if you feel like it.

Blend up the mix in batches in a food processor until it's a smooth, non-chewable consistency and put the whole lot in a large saucepan over low heat on the stove. Simmer for about 10 minutes and add in the lemon juice (along with more salt and pepper if required) and then simmer for a final few minutes. Depending on how your mouth is working - serve either with crusty bread or a frustratingly small teaspoon.


  1. Cindy - good luck with recovering from your wisdom teeth extraction - my memories of having mine removed is very painful - not helped by my dad telling me maybe I should eat baby food (which was totally tasteless)!

    The pumpkin soup looks delicious - I often wish I had the patience to roast vegetables more for soup because it really does make the flavour more intense!

  2. Thanks, Johanna, I am on the mend already. I'm lucky to be getting something nicer than baby food when Michael cooks. Even so, nothing would make me happier than some crunchy crackers right now!! :-P

  3. I can't wait for the cooler days of fall so I can try this creamy, flavourful soup.

  4. There's always something edible to look forward to with the changing of the seasons, isn't there, Valli? I hope you'll enjoy this, perhaps with the roasted pumpkin seed garnish that I'm unable to enjoy at the moment! :-)

  5. G'day Cindy, Thanks for the recipes. I am a lapsed vegetarian of sorts & was involved in getting St Kildas Soulmama up & running a few years back. I hope you still go there, I noticed a review of it on you blog a few months ago.

  6. Hi Gobbler! You can thank Michael (and Ken Charney) for this recipe, at least. We haven't been to Soulmama for a little while, but really should go back - I have very fond memories of the dessert menu. :-)

  7. I took a great deal of pride in that dessert counter Cindy so I'm chuffed that you remember it! Cathy Maguire is doing a sterling job there now, you should re-visit.